What is the New York Declaration On Forests?
The New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) is a voluntary and non-binding international declaration to take action to halt global deforestation. It was first endorsed at the United Nations Climate Summit in September 2014, and by October 2017 the NYDF supporters grew to include over 191 endorsers: 40 governments, 20 sub-national governments, 57 multi-national companies, 16 groups representing indigenous communities, and 58 non-government organizations. These endorsers have committed to doing their part to achieve the NYDF’s ten goals and follow its accompanying action agenda.
The NYDF has roots in other processes, and its aims overlap with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015. Complementary processes include the 2011 Bonn Challenge to restore 150 million hectares of degraded land by 2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which include at least halving the loss of all natural habitats. The declaration includes ambitious targets to end natural forest loss by 2030, with a 50% reduction by 2020 as a milestone toward its achievement. In addition, the declaration calls for restoring 350 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands by 2030, supporting the private sector in eliminating deforestation from the supply chains of major agricultural commodities by 2020, and providing financial support to reduce emissions related to deforestation and forest degradation. Achieving the NYDF goals could reduce the global emissions of greenhouse gases by 4.5–8.8 billion metric tons every year – equivalent to the United States’ annual emissions.
Who are the NYDF Assessment Partners?
The NYDF Assessment Partners are an independent network of civil society groups and research institutions – highlighted on the Partners' page – that annually evaluates the progress toward meeting the ten goals formulated in the NYDF. Meeting the goals of the NYDF requires the ongoing resolve of its endorsers. Effective monitoring on progress, engagement and visibility of results is important to boost this resolve. The NYDF Assessment Coalition serves as a platform to facilitate these efforts.
Every year, the NYDF Assessment Partners publish an NYDF Progress Assessment Report. In 2015, the Partners proposed a framework, including a number of indicators and proxies, for assessing progress toward the ten NYDF goals and summarized the status of the goals on the one-year anniversary of the NYDF endorsement. The 2016 report was a progress assessment of the goals, with a particular focus on Goal 2, which aims to support private sector efforts to halt deforestation driven by the production of key agricultural commodities including palm oil, soy, beef, and paper and other wood products. The 2017 report again highlights progress toward all ten goals and provides an in-depth assessment on Goals 8 & 9, finance for strategies to reduce emissions from forests and reward positive action. The 2018 report is currently under development and will focus on Goal 10, strengthening forest governance, transparency, and the rule of law, while also empowering communities and recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples, especially those pertaining to their lands and resources.